Joseph C.

The Spontaneity of the Chipmunk

To here!  To there!
The flaming brown ball pursues its random course.
His small body bubbles with energy.

He cannot stay still.
Not for a second.
To here!  To there!
Never thinking, just doing.

He trembles when he is still,
unable to control his excitement.
He cannot pause, not even to think.
For thinking must be done on the run.

He lives his life in constant motion.
Free from peaceful thought.
He is packed with energy,
energy that must always be in use.
For the chipmunk, life never stops.
To not be running is to not be living.
He must run, away from his enemies,
and towards his dinner.

Determined in his quest for food,
ceaseless like a running river,
he searches and searches.
He does not give up, he always pushes on.

And what if there is no food to be found?
What does a chipmunk do?  He searches some more.
For in his impulsive life,
he knows that persistence is the only constant.

But the search for food doesn’t last forever.
This activity…
it can support life,
but it can’t support the love for life.
So the chipmunk plays.
He plays by running.
Not running for food, but running
for the pure love of it.

Into a drainpipe,
up a tree,
behind the bush.
He is the hyperactive commander of the yard.

He runs with his friends.
He runs alone.
He runs to taunt the cat
who does not have the freedom of impulse.

And when the sunlight begins to shorten,
the chipmunk knows what he must do.
He must store his food for the winter,
so he can build his energy during his season of rest.
Slowly, the chipmunk goes to sleep,
finally having used his energy up.
But next year,
the chipmunk will run again.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.